Mario Isola felt the Turkish Grand Prix showed that the intermediate tyre was ‘well-suited’ to a wide range of changeable conditions, with the green-walled tyre the predominantly used tyre throughout the fifty-eight-lap race.
One driver – Alpine F1 Team‘s Esteban Ocon – went against the guidance from Pirelli Motorsport and went through the whole event without making a pit stop, the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix of 1997 that a driver has been able to complete a full-race distance without taking to the pit lane at least once.
However, the one-stop option was the best choice for the race, although the timing of the stop was critical, with conditions giving the drivers headaches as the tyres began to grain on the still-wet track.
Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, felt Valtteri Bottas and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team called the strategy right by stopping on lap thirty-seven, with the Finn having the pace advantage to take his first victory of the season at Intercity Istanbul Park.
“Following wet conditions in Saturday’s free practice, we had wet weather from start to finish of the grand prix today,” said Isola. “However, this was never heavy rain that required the full wets: instead it was perfect territory for the intermediates, which showed themselves to be very well-suited to a wide range of changing wet conditions.
“The drivers who changed their tyres in the final stages of the race found a slightly drier track, leading to a bit more graining. Those stopping earlier were able to limit graining on a wetter track, and this was a key advantage in the intermittent rain conditions.
“Bottas ran the perfect strategy under the demanding circumstances: a one-stopper with two runs on the intermediates. Many other drivers delayed their pit stop: also because it wasn’t clear to what extent the track would dry out before the end of the race, perhaps even allowing a final run on the slicks.
“Going for the whole race on the intermediates though was not what we would advise, and in fact we alerted some teams to the potential risk of doing that. Nonetheless, the performance of the intermediates was very strong here, without a single driver retiring despite the slippery conditions over all 58 laps.”